Mon. Jul 15th, 2024
Dozens of men from a white supremacist group known as Patriot Front piled out of U-Haul vans next to the Nissan Stadium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, July 6, 2024. (Source: Screenshot - WTVF News Channel 5)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Community leaders are outraged after members of a far right group known as the Patriot Front marched through downtown Nashville Saturday afternoon armed with shields and wearing ski masks.

Dozens of men in matching blue shirts and khakis clothing walked up the steps to the Tennessee Capitol carrying Confederate flags right-side up — and American flags upside down.

In a video obtained by NewsChannel 5, groups of men could be seen piling out of the back of at least three U-Hauls next to the Nissan Stadium.

Many of them reportedly passed out flyers and spray painted a symbol under the Woodland St. Bridge.

No police were seen in the area during the entire time the group marched.

This was the second demonstration in Nashville this year involving far-right white supremacists.

In an interview with WSMV on Sunday, Jonathan Williamson, the president of Nashville chapter of the NAACP said “Whether you want to hide behind a mask or not, it has to be permitted cause that’s illegal.”

“You can’t spew hatred and bigotry and fear. You can’t lead with fear you have to live with love,” he added.

The Tennessee Democratic Party issued a statement condemning the march and called on Republican lawmakers to do the same.

“While our Republican state leaders sit quietly by, we refuse to let hate filled racists terrorize our community,” said Hendrell Remus, chairperson of the Tennesse Democratic Party.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville also expressed outrage and called on city leaders to take action, noting the white supremacist group was assembling without a permit.

The organization said it expects city leaders make the group face consequences for assembling without required permits.

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell, a Democrat, responded to the march on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Yesterday, a number of people shockingly comfortable publicly identifying themselves as white nationalists marched through Nashville.

My first priority in this moment—as always—was the safety of Nashvillians.”

On Monday, the Nashville mayor’s office confirmed the Patriot Front did not have a permit for Saturday’s demonstration.

While attending an event on on Monday, Gov. Bill Lee condemned the march and said antisemitism should not be tolerated.

It is not clear if the white supremacist group will be cited for Saturday’s demonstration, or if local police anticipated the march. will continue to follow this story.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to correct the name of the quoted news station. (7/11/24)